Athletics win showdown with Goodhue

Published 5:55 pm Saturday, February 10, 2018

LYLE – The No. 1 ranked Lyle-Pacelli girls basketball team showed off its balance in a big way as it used a late burst to get past two-time defending Class A state champ Goodhue 50-44 in Lyle Saturday.

The Wildcats (18-6 overall) erased a seven-point halftime deficit to take 42-41 lead when Lexie Lodermeier converted a lay-up with 5:40 left in the game, but the Athletics picked up their defense as they closed the game out on a 9-2 run.

Lyle-Pacelli’s Brooke Walter scrambles for a lose ball against Goodhue in the first half Saturday afternoon in Lyle. Eric Johnson/

LP, which led for most of the game, took the lead for good when Kristi Fett, who had 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, scored on a put-back to make it 43-42 LP.

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I’m so incredibly proud of our kids with their fight and their maturity,” LP head coach Justin Morris said. “When they took the lead, it would’ve been easy for our kids to say ‘here we go again.’ Instead they said ‘not this time.’ These kids believe they’re going to find away every night and there’s nothin more powerful than believing in yourself.”

As Goodhue focused its defense on Fett, the other Athletics stepped up their game. Christianson finished with 17 points, nine rebounds, two assists and three steals. Christianson had a key put-back to put LP up 45-42 and she iced the game when she drove for a score that put LP up 49-44 with 29 seconds left.

Kendal Truckenmiller readies to pull the trigger on a three against Goodhue Saturday afternoon in Lyle. Eric Johnson/

“That’s kind of where my strongest play is, when they’re leaning on Kristi, I’ll find a little hole and bring it to the rim,” Christianson said. “This was good for us. Instead of winning by 30 or 40 every game, it’s good to have a close game. If you don’t keep your composure, you know that things will get worse. We’ve got to mature and relax and if you make a bad play, you can’t let that one mistake turn into two or three mistakes.”

Plenty of other players made big plays for LP (23-1 overall) as Abby Bollingberg hit two free throws to put LP up 47-44, Brooke Walter hit a three-pointer to put LP up 34-31 and Kendal Truckenmiller, who finished with 11 points and three assists, hit a three-pointer to start the game.

“It felt really good to hit that first one. I had a rough warm up, but I knew I was going to make it,” Truckenmiller said. “We had to be really focused and we wanted to win so bad. We had more fight. It literally felt like a tournament game. The emotions were all over the place.”

While Fett, a 6-5 Minnesota State commit, re-set her own program record by scoring a career-high 38 points on Thursday, the Athletics certainly have other scoring options when teams try to double her up. LP had four players score at least eight points on Saturday.

“When we have that kind of balance, we’re real tough,” Morris said. “People said all year that if you take Fett away, then you can beat us. I think tonight we showed that even if Fett doesn’t have a big night, we’ve got kids that can make you pay.”

The win gives LP the inside track on the No. 1 seed in a loaded Section 1A. The Athletics are still undefeated against Minnesota teams as their lone loss came against Cresco, Iowa on Dec. 16.

Lyle-Pacelli’s Abby Bollingberg looks for outlet against the Goodhue press Saturday afternoon in Lyle. Eric Johnson/

Goodhue 24 20 – 44

LP 31 19 – 50

LP scoring: Olivia Christianson, 17; Kristi Fett, 11; Kendal Truckenmiller, 11; Abby Bollingberg, 8; Brooke Walter, 3; free throws: 79 percent (11-for-14); rebounds: 27 (Christianson, 9); turnovers: 16